Democratic Politics


Chapter : 1. Popular Struggles and Movements

Popular Struggles In Nepal And Bolivia

Popular Struggles In Nepal And Bolivia
(1) Movement for Democracy in Nepal : Nepal witnessed an extraordinary popular movement in April 2006. The movement was aimed at restoring democracy. Nepal, we might recall, was one of the ‘third wave’ countries that had won democracy in 1990. Although the king formally remained the head of the state, the real power was exercised by popularly elected representatives. King Birendra, who has accepted this transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, was killed in a mysterious massacre of the royal family in 2001. King Gyanendra, the king of Nepal, was not prepared to accepted democratic rule. He took advantage of the weakness and unpopularity of democratically elected government. In February 2005, the king dismissed the then Prime Minister and dissolved the popularly elected parliament. The movement of April 2006 was aimed at regaining popular control over the government from the king.
The number of protesters reached between 3 to 5 lakhs on 21 April and they served an ultimatum to the king. The leaders of the movement rejected the half hearted concessions made by the king. They stuck to their demand for restoration of parliament, power to all-party government and a new constituent assembly.
Outcome :
On 24 April 2004, the last day of the ultimatum, the king was forced to concede all the three demands. The SPA chose Girija Prasad Koirala as the new Prime Minister of the interim government. The restored parliaments met and passed laws taking away most of the powers of the king. The SPA and the maoists came to an understanding about how the new constituent Assembly was going to be elected. This struggle came to be known as Nepal’s second movement for democracy

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